Posted by: Jane Body
It’s been almost two months since my last guest blog and there is so much to fill you in on! Apart from hanging out with the Akili girls, taking part in numerous dance sessions and goofing around taking silly face photos, the Akili team and myself have been working hard to increase the environmental and financial sustainability of the Obambo campus.
As part of this we have started a Sustainakility Club (note the pun). The idea behind it is to not only have the girls benefit from Akili’s sustainability but to have them contribute to it too. They will be helping out with gardening, watering, looking after the chickens and harvesting - all skills they can take back to their communities and use throughout their lifetimes. Alongside all the practical skills, we have also been doing some theory: teaching them to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, learning about air pollution, climate change and the things that they can do to ensure their environment stays healthy. We’ve had so much fun playing games, drawing and swapping ideas since we started the club at the beginning of July!
What I’ve come to love about David, Erick and Dennis, the founders and masterminds behind these projects, is that they seem to love learning just as much as I do. In planning for the school’s sustainability program, it has been super important to make sure that any project we put into place will have the best chance of success. And so, we have been getting involved in permaculture, meeting with organisations who use these techniques and have sustainable sites set up already. While we are all new to permaculture, we have no doubts in its benefits and are really excited to start turning our Obambo campus into a sustainable, edible wonderland!
The girls have now gone on holidays for a month and, in one of the biggest compliments you could imagine, they all told me that they wished they didn’t have to go home because "this school is too good!" I totally agree with them! I watch David, Erick and Dennis go to work early, come home late, work on the weekends and rarely stop for a lunch break in between. Sometimes there are so many bumps in the road and not enough of us to flatten them out but David once said that "You just have to look at the girls, at their progress and it makes it all worth it." The guys share so many laughs every day and their positive attitude flows right throughout Akili from the staff, to the girls and onto their parents. It truly is one of the happiest places I’ve ever been!
Riley Orton Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) provides holistic education and promotes gender equality in STEM education to ensure girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential